FEELING GREAT: Pain of family holidays

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With the six weeks holidays in sight, it’s the time of year where the British do one of the most illogical things possible.

After suffering through and moaning about an entire winter of dark, cold and damp nights, now that the sun has come out and the nights are light, it’s time to start thinking about getting out of the country for a holiday.

Family holidays can offer many things. The beauty of travel abroad is that it allows you to take look at another culture.

To see the world from another viewpoint is often the adventure of travel and the freedom, the absence from your everyday routine of normal life provides the excitement.

And wherever you are heading, all of the above applies.

If you’re off to Europe, is there anywhere else in the world that rivals the history?

How about somewhere in Asia? The culture of somewhere like Sri Lanka or India is unforgettable, and if you’re thinking about heading off to Disney or America, you’ll not likely find more fun and excitement anywhere in the world.

But family holidays aren’t just about using a passport. Particularly not when the weather is as good as this.

Camping, tenting and caravanning anywhere in the UK can provide just as much freedom and excitement.

My parents weren’t particularly outdoor people so we didn’t do much of this type of thing when I was a kid.

Aside from pitching a one-man tent in my garden, and a one off trip to a caravan at Haggerston Castle, I can’t remember ever doing much of it.

And it was because the only trip we did do was marred by what is perhaps one of the only downsides I’ve ever come across with travel.

And that’s the dreaded scenario of having to put up with a lumpy bed or a rock hard pillow night after night.

I’ve never met anyone who can enjoy their days knowing that they face a horrid night in an uncomfortable bed.

And my dad was well and truly in that bracket. He’d often whine like mad about the pillows and mattresses causing back and neck pain, so much so that we never went back.

And spending eight hours sleeping on a pillow that’s not as nice as your own is a common cause of neck stiffness, back aches and shoulder muscle tightness.

The solution? Well I’ve known many of the members of my physio clinic go to the extremes of taking their own pillows on holiday.

A smart move if you suffer constantly from neck and shoulder problems.

If you are spending some time in the great outdoors for the first time in the next few weeks, be sure to consider the effect that a night or two sleeping on the grass is likely to have upon your back and neck particularly if you have a history of problems. If your neck or back is stiff, it’s important to start the day with some stretches or a brisk walk to loosen the joints to prevent a long term problem.